Transport dept. to put brakes on impersonation in learner’s licence test

The spate of complaints about impersonation becoming commonplace after the learner’s licence test shifted to online mode following the pandemic, and unscrupulous driving schools making undue gain by exploiting the new system has prompted the Transport Department to probe alternatives, to usher in the much-needed accountability in the conduct of the test.

“It has come to our notice that many driving schools are making undue monetary advantage, including by helping arrange people who are well-versed in traffic rules, to impersonate on behalf of candidates who have applied for learner’s licence. The process has been set in motion to overcome this, considering the implications on road safety when applicants who have little or no knowledge of traffic rules and vehicles take to the road,” said a senior official of the department.

He refused to confirm whether the issuance of learner’s licence will return to the pre-pandemic offline mode, when candidates had to attend the test at RTO and Sub-RTO offices under the direct supervision of Motor Vehicles Department personnel.

Alarm bells in the department set ringing as candidates, many of whom knew little of traffic rules, began to score over 60 % marks, the cut off percentage to pass the learner’s test.

“Sadly, the State government seemed least interested, when the road safety implications of candidates hoodwinking the department by deputing others to attend the test by sharing their OTP, was repeatedly brought to its notice. This in turn led to unscrupulous driving schools unduly reaping a harvest, from ₹500 to ₹5,000 per candidate, including by arranging impersonators,” official sources said.

Fortunately, candidates ought to appear in person for obtaining the formal licence. “It is mandatory that candidates take ‘8’ or ‘H’ depending on the type of vehicle,” said P.M. Shabeer, the Ernakulam RTO. They must also successfully complete the practical road test, which includes reversing and parking, to get their licence. The road test is crucial to test their confidence level and how they manage everyday situations on the road, he added.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2022 8:42:02 PM |

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